The Party Dress: Serious Progress, Serious Deadline!

It’s Saturday morning, and the big party’s tonight! I’m quickly running out of time to finish up this dress. Luckily, I have all the materials, I know it will fit, and I’ve made this pattern twice already. It’s looking promising! Plus, the fear of having to wear the same dress as last year is wonderful motivation.*

Here’s the dress status so far:

The lining, underlining, and main fabric are all cut. I underlined the bodice in muslin. You’d think that would slow me down, but I like working with an underlining. I can mark it up with marking pen, and it adds body to the silk, which is so light and delicate. Plus, it will add a little bit of extra warmth to the dress. There’s nothing glamourous about shivering!

Darts have been sewn in the bodice. I also trimmed the darts and pressed them open to reduce the bulk. The last two times I made this dress, I didn’t do that, but with the silk, you could really see the fold of the dart on the right side! Trimming the darts and pressing them open helped achieve a flatter look. (I’ll write up what I did, once the dress is done!)

Bodice seams are sewn, trimmed and pressed. I love how the muslin underlining gives it almost a padded or quilted feeling!

Facings have been interfaced and sideseams sewn, with the facing edges finished. They’re ready to be attached to the dress!

Skirt sideseams have been sewn and serged. The tie belt is finished, too! Well, almost. I just need to slip-stitch up the opening and then it will be done.

The lining is partially constructed – the bodice is ready and the skirt seams have been sewn. Just need to put it all together!

My ‘Finish By 4PM’ List:

  • Slipstitch belt opening
  • Attach bodice lining to bodice
  • Attach skirt lining to skirt
  • Attach bodice to skirt
  • Insert zipper
  • Add waist stay
  • Hem skirt
  • Hem lining with lace trim

Whew! That’s a lot. Better make a cup of coffee and get started right away!

As I worked on this project, I made a few notes on sewing with silk. I’ll share them shortly, once the dress is finished. Luckily, most of the tutorials I could be writing on this project have already been written! Underlining, hand-picking the zipper, understitching – all done! The only thing I’d like to share is how to trim the lining in lace.

If all goes well, I’ll have party pictures in the party dress to share after tonight!

*PS. I know it’s not tragic to wear the same dress twice. I know it’s not life-or-death that I finish a new dress for tonight! I’m just having fun with my personal speed-sewing challenge, and imaginary drama makes it interesting!

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31 Responses to The Party Dress: Serious Progress, Serious Deadline!

  1. Becky December 4, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    Looks like it’s moving along nicely! I hope you make the deadline–and I’ll be looking forward to seeing whatever tutorials you come up with for working on the silk. It’s not a material I’ve had many opportunities to work with yet (seeing as how my only in-store option around here is Joann’s and they don’t really carry a lot in the way of natural fibers), but one I’d love to play with more.

    I also wanted to let you know that your pattern arrived in the mail yesterday! I’m excited. Looking at the numbers more closely, I know I’ll have to do some kind of FBA, but it’s still a lot closer to my hip-to-waist measurement than I ever find in other patterns!

  2. Trisha December 4, 2010 at 6:15 am #

    Good luck! I know you can finish it!!!

    I do have a question— why lining AND facings for the bodice? I’ve always just used one or the other for a project… do the facings sew on to the lining?

  3. Lisa December 4, 2010 at 6:24 am #

    It’s looking really good < I hope you get it finished in time .

  4. Robin December 4, 2010 at 6:34 am #

    You can do it!

  5. Claire (aka Seemane) December 4, 2010 at 6:50 am #

    Wow – what speedy work – go girl! :)
    Hope everything gets finished on time & have a lovely party tonight!

  6. Misty December 4, 2010 at 7:08 am #

    Can’t wait to see the finished dress! It’s such a beautiful color.

  7. Marybeth December 4, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    It’s soooo beautiful!

  8. Corinne December 4, 2010 at 7:13 am #

    Looking really good, can’t wait for the finished product. Just have a quick and funny story. I have had a painfully hectic week. I also ordered several patterns that were due to arrive this week. Well, I must have had patterns on the brain and in my sleep (I do obsess a bit) because I was sure my Pendrell had arrived and I misplaced it! I sorted through all my sewing books, patterns, worksheets etc. (and that is a lot) went through the recycle paper bin and no luck. I was really upset with myself. I though maybe it had been mis-filed in my desk. No luck. I had just convinced myself that it had acidentlly been recycled and that was that….then the mail came! There she was, my Pendrell, ready to go to work. The stitching diagrams are great, even a beginner will be able to master this pattern. Great work Tasia!

  9. Carol Tiffin James December 4, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    Looks wonderful!

  10. Amber December 4, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    Sew, girl, sew! Lookin’ good. :)

  11. The Cupcake Goddess December 4, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    It’s looking fabulous thus far and I’m extremely jealous that you can whip it out so quickly. I’m sure you’ll be able to finish and it will be gorgeous for your event tonight. And it’s silk and the color. Oh I die! I can’t wait to see it all finished up. With the shoes too! You’ll look just dreamy….

  12. K-Line December 4, 2010 at 8:14 am #

    I love that you’ve set yourself this challenge and I think the underlining is a great idea. Who knew it can make such a diff. Seems like you underline everything, Tasia!

  13. Karin van D. December 4, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Oh how exciting. I am sure you will be able to finish the dress and that you will look stunning tonight. I look forward to seeing the festive pictures! :-)

  14. ellen December 4, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    This is looking amazing! I’m an incredibly slow sewer, so am suitably envious of your speed sewing skills. I’m also curious about the facings and the lining. Will the lining go over or under the facings?

  15. Dora December 4, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    I didn’t comment on the last post so: good choice with the fabric! I am in love with teal and in love with dupioni and teal dupioni is just the most cheerful, glamorous, fabulous fabric. Guaranteed to make your holiday happy.

  16. natalli December 4, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    I took one look at your BEAUTIFUL darts and was going to ask if you could give a how-to, be it sounds like you’re already planning on that? pretty please? :)

  17. Lisa December 4, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    Me again I have returned to make another comment after I have been thinking about your dress. Do you dry clean your dresses ? if so do you bother laundering your fabrics ? Does the muslin interlining need pre washed ? I would like to try your method of using Muslin to interline in the future.

  18. Anita Johnston December 4, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    “Knowing it will fit” is 99% of the battle, I think, I doesn’t take long to sew things, it’s all that adjusting when you don’t know how it will fit. It is looking gorgeous… I KNOW the result will be spectacular.

  19. Amanda S. December 4, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    Good luck! I am not a fan of sewing under pressure, but I’m glad it is so motivating to you. Have fun at the party!

  20. Uta December 4, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    This will be gorgeous! One question: you mention lining the bodice and skirt and then sewing them together instead of making the whole shell and lining before sewing them together. Does that have to so with the shape of the dress or with the waist stay?

  21. Sherry December 4, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    It’s looking beautiful! I just love the colours of silk – so lustrous!

  22. Venus de Hilo December 4, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    So you were up all night to get so much done so fast?
    It’s going to be a stunning dress: have fun showing it off tonight!

  23. Karin December 4, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    Go, go, go! You can do it! So far it is looking delicious. The fabric is so pretty and the interlining looks luxurious. Good luck!

  24. Jessica December 4, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    It’s going to be so pretty! Love the color. A question: when you cut the darts open, do you worry about the raw edges raveling? The dress I’m working on now calls for the same treatment, and it seems crazy to me to leave that edge raw, but maybe I’m just being crazy (I’m a little ocd in my sewing sometimes!)

  25. Catherine December 4, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    It’s going to be stunning! You’ll look gorgeous! Have a wonderful time at the party!!!

  26. latifa December 4, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Looks like it will be pretty dress..but for $100 you can get a fabulous dress in the US.I grew up in Canada in Vancouver,but that place is so darn expensive ! At that time in the 90″s you could hardly find anything less than $50 even a sale !

  27. Dei December 4, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Hang in there. You’re coming down the home stretch. It will be lovely.

  28. Moeno December 4, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    I guess since it is past your deadline you are wearing the dress right now! I’m so jealous you can whip up a dress so quick. ;) And that looks like a fantastic fabric choice.

    Looking forward to seeing your finished photos!

  29. Esz December 4, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    The dress is going to be stunning!
    I’m currently working on my first ever project – a ‘semi-circle’ skirt – semi circle in that I laid out a skirt I’ve already got on a piece of fabric and now I’m finishing it off – flying by the seat of my pants! Hope it works out okay – I dropped by because I need to read your tute on hand-picking a zipper as that’s what I’m up to.
    Waistband next!

  30. Alessa December 18, 2010 at 3:12 am #

    Looks so pretty! <3


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